student success

While Betsy Was Trying to Throw the Special Olympics Away, Democrats Were Busy Attacking School Choice

I’m on a mission to call everybody out who’s not working in the best interest of kids, all 2019. On this week’s list is Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the Democrats. Strange bedfellows but bedfellows nonetheless, neither of them want to see marginalized students succeed. https://twitter.com/JAMMO_1/status/1108111810513690624 And while no one has explicitly said they don’t want students to succeed, their politics and policies are doing all the talking. Let’s start with Betsy DeVos. This week’s congressional hearings on the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed budget for 2020 was a hot mess and Betsy got dragged! https://twitter.com/CNNnewsroom/status/1110923122968948736 At this point, I can’t tell if Betsy DeVos really is completely oblivious to the state of affairs when it comes to racism and bias in America’s education system. Or if she does know the deal but plays the role of being Trump’s faithful but clueless messenger very well. https://twitter.com/Lily_NEA/status/1110716063971508225 But what I do know is, the Department of Education is trying to tell us something—can y’all hear it? They’re saying, “We don’t care about educating students of color or those with disabilities.” Especially when they skim money from education funding to allow a 15.6 percent salary increase for U.S. Department of Education executives. https://twitter.com/repmarkpocan/status/1110662715427749891 For example, in 2018, the Trump administration proposed $200 million in cuts to grants and work study programs that help low-income students better afford college. Education Trust recently conducted a study called Broken Mirrors where they found that Black enrollment at technical, community and four-year institutions did not reflect the state’s racial composition, particularly in Arkansas. https://twitter.com/EdTrust/status/1110651644038078466 Not only am I willing to bet that funding cuts have something to do with Education Trust’s findings but these budget cuts say that this administration isn’t supportive of maintaining systems that support marginalized students in higher education. The message was loud and clear when they eliminated civil rights protections for students of color who suffer from disproportionate disciplinary actions. https://twitter.com/nowthisnews/status/1110935258638270464 And then again with this new proposal to defund the Special Olympics. https://twitter.com/bekkahitz/status/1110696125760184321

It’s Not Just Betsy, Democrats Are Part of the Problem, Too

But we can’t keep shaming Betsy without shaking our finger at the Democrats, too. Because while Betsy was trying to throw the Special Olympics away, they were busy with their usual attack on charter schools. https://twitter.com/laurenonthehill/status/1110587172120395782 Honestly, they’re just as problematic as the unions that fund them, anti-choice folks and other special interests groups that push agendas against school choice despite what their constituents say they want and need. https://twitter.com/AdrianNormanDC/status/1065400065232003072 This really makes them no different from Trump and Betsy trying to eliminate discipline protections special programs and grants—it all hurts underserved communities. So they need to stop claiming to be the people's party when they're slow to solve the people's problems in education and against supporting their solutions. That's why I can appreciate politicians who are brave enough to challenge the status quo. Like, I have to give Sen. Cory Booker props for advocating for school choice regardless of what his party says. https://twitter.com/CBarnard33/status/1101908288982188033 Shavar Jeffries, president of Democrats for Education Reform, dismisses the notion that being an education reform supporter automatically makes you a supporter of the Trump administration. Fake news. https://twitter.com/DFER_News/status/1109106521898708993 And former U.S. Secretary of Education, John B. King, whose message is always one of unity and collaboration in improving outcomes for students. This isn’t a conversation about politics. I’m not greenlighting Betsy’s budget proposal nor am I saying that the Democrats are wrong for questioning oversight, funding and accountability. I’m just wondering when they’ll move past politics and actually come up with solutions that work for all students and families. Because parents don't care about political affiliations when it comes to securing a quality education for their child. And kids don't want to hear about identity politics when their schools are underfunded, they're being unfairly suspended because of the color of their skin and they can’t afford to go to college. All they care about is having their needs represented and met by the people they put in public office.
Tanesha Peeples
Tanesha Peeples is driven by one question in her work—“If not me, then who?” As the former Deputy Director of Activist Development for brightbeam, Tanesha merges the worlds of communications and grassroots activism to push for change in the public education system. Her passion for community and relentless mission for justice and liberation drive her in uplifting and amplifying the voices and ...

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